How to Start a Travel Blog in 6 Steps
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Wouldn’t it be amazing to travel the world and write about it?
While travel journalism has been around for decades, travel blogging is the newer, more attractive, and easily achievable alternative.
If you want to document your travels, share your experiences, or transform your love for adventure into a career, travel blogging could be perfect for you.
In this step-by-step guide we take you through the steps to create and launch a travel blog, including how to find the right name, sign up for hosting, set up WordPress, plan content, and more.
- Find Your Niche
- Choose a Blog Name
- Sign Up for Web Hosting
- Set Up Your WordPress Blog
- Before You Launch
- Launch Your Blog
Before you start your travel blog, you’ll need to decide what you want to write about. Travel blogging is a popular niche, but there’s always room for talented bloggers like you to make a mark.
One of the secrets to a profitable, successful blog is to find your niche. This means to define your blog, content, approach, and style in a way that’s tailored to a specific audience or need.
Popular Travel Blog Niches
Within travel blogging there are lots of different niches, each with their own audiences and styles. Here are some of the most popular travel blog niches to give you some ideas:
- Luxury travel
- Budget travel
- Road trips
- Personal travel diaries
- Family travel
- Solo traveling
- Adventure travel
- City blogs
- Travel photography or videography
- Cultural travel
- Business travel
To help you find your perfect travel blog niche, read our guide on how to choose your blogging niche.
Once you’ve decided on your niche, the next step is to choose a name for your travel blog. Your blog name is the first thing people will see when they find you online, so it’s important to create something that attracts your ideal reader.
But how do you choose the right name for your blog? Here are our tips:
Make It Memorable
As travel blogging is so popular it’s easy to create a name that’s similar to other bloggers, or go for something too generic to be memorable. You want your readers to know your blog by name, so make it easy for them to remember. Try alliteration, rhyming, or adding some of your personality into your name.
Instead of a generic name like “Alex’s Travels,” a more memorable name for a travel blog that covers destinations that are off the beaten track could be “Tourist 2 Townie.”
Don’t Limit Your Potential
Travel blogging is often inspired by your own travels and experiences, so it can be tempting to start a blog about traveling with a young family or solo travel in your 20s. But what happens when your children grow up, or you find a partner and settle down?
While you can continue blogs like these past your own experiences and offer valuable ideas and tips, they do limit your potential for future growth. You could still write about topics that are time sensitive, but talk about this in your sidebar, bio, or within other content — and choose a blog name that’s built to last.
Keep It Short and Simple
While you want your blog name to stand out and be memorable, you also want it to be short and sweet. A long domain name means lots of extra characters for people to type in and a longer email address that can introduce confusion.
Go for a blog name that’s easy to read when typed or written down. It’ll make it easier to keep your reader’s attention and direct them to your blog, instead of losing them as they try to remember whether you’re “Adventures with Lucy” or “Adventuring with Lucy.”
You want to make sure you don’t introduce any unnecessary difficulties for your readers as they try to find your blog. That’s why it’s so important to avoid hyphens in your blog’s domain name, as they act as a visual stumbling block and reduce flow when typed and spoken out loud.
There are a few travel blogs with hyphens in their name — Hippie In Heels is one — but most successful bloggers choose to go without them.
Make Sure Your Domain Name Is Available
While there are countless different domain extensions (also known as TLDs) available, the most popular is still a .com — and it’s what most readers expect.
To make life easier for your readers, and so that they don’t land on a website that isn’t yours, buy and use the .com version of your desired domain name.
If it’s not available for any reason, check if the existing .com is a competitor. If they are, it may be time to rethink your name. If not, another popular domain choice is a .co — or a regional domain name like .ca (for Canada) or .co.uk (for UK).
Check Social Media Handles
Social media plays an increasingly big role in travel blogging. Instagram has become a profitable micro-blogging platform of its own, so it’s a good idea to check that your blog name is available as handles on all the major social media platforms.
You could run these checks manually and visit each social media platform, but the quickest way is to use a tool like Namecheckr to search for you.
Stuck For Ideas?
It can take some time to find the right blog name, which can be frustrating if you want to start a travel blog right now. If you’ve decided on a blog niche, it might be time to try some of the exercises and tips from our guide on how to find a creative blog name.
Once you’ve found the perfect name for your travel blog, it’s time to move on to the next step and sign up for web hosting.
After you’ve decided on a blog name and purchased a domain name, the next step is to buy web hosting for your blog.
Every blog needs to be hosted somewhere on a server, as this is where all your content and data is stored. Most bloggers opt for a shared hosting plan with a web hosting company, as this is an affordable way to launch your blog and get your content out there.
Our recommended web host for travel bloggers is Bluehost, as they offer affordable plans with plenty of space — perfect to showcase your stunning photography. They are also recommended by WordPress, a powerful content management system (CMS) for blogging.
Want to learn more about Bluehost? We compare it to other popular web hosting companies the following guides:
Now that you have your hosting configured, you can move ahead with starting your travel blog. Every blog needs a CMS that allows you to write and publish blog posts, upload photos, and customize your blog to look the way you want it to.
We recommend WordPress as the CMS of choice for bloggers as it’s easy to use, popular, and supported by a huge community of developers and experts. If you are serious about blogging, you’ll want to make sure you opt for the “self hosted” version, not free WordPress — find out more about the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. For similar reasons we also don’t recommend using Blogspot for your pro travel blog.
It’s easy to install WordPress with Bluehost using their one-click install. All you need to do is follow their guide and you’ll have a WordPress blog in minutes.
Customize Your Blog
WordPress comes with a selection of free themes pre-installed, but we recommend that you choose a third-party theme for your new travel blog.
A professional-looking blog with a customized theme can help you to stand out, attract your ideal readers, and make it easier to monetize your blog.
There are lots of places to find high quality WordPress themes, but our favorites include Themeforest, Creative Market, and Studiopress. Once you’ve chosen a theme, follow our guide on how to install a WordPress theme to make the process simple.
Another way to customize the functionality and look of your blog is through plugins. There are thousands of plugins available for WordPress, but our top picks for travel bloggers include:
- Akismet — to block spam comments, so that you don’t have to delete them manually
- Yoast SEO — to make it easier to optimize your content for search engines using search engine optimization (SEO)
- Interactive World Maps — this plugin allows you to create clickable maps to show readers where you’ve traveled to
- WordFence Security — a plugin designed to protect your blog and keep it secure from malicious activity
- WordPress Editorial Calendar — to help you plan your blog content and create an editorial calendar that sits within your WordPress dashboard
You can browse through all available plugins on the WordPress website. We recommend you check out reviews and ratings, and always check with your hosting company before you decide to install if you’re unsure.
At this step it’s also a good idea to sign up with Google Analytics and integrate it with your blog, so that you can capture statistics from your launch and beyond.
While you customize your blog, now is also a great time to think about your blog’s brand and style. Design a color palette that matches your niche and attracts your audience, and use these colors in your blog design. You’ll also want a logo for your blog — you could DIY this if you’re creative, work with a designer, or approach a freelancer through a site like Upwork.
With a blog that’s all set up and ready to go, it can be tempting to launch your blog right away. First though, you need a few things in place including some basic pages and, of course, plenty of blog posts for people to read.
Create Basic Pages
Have you ever noticed that some pages are almost universal for all blogs? Almost every blog has at least two pages when they launch — an about page, and a contact page.
Your “About” page tells readers more about you and your personality, journey, and reasons why you started a blog. It also goes into more detail about your blog and the type of content people can expect, to encourage them to stay and read. You can also include a call to action — for example for people to sign up to your newsletter or download a free travel checklist.
It’s also helpful to create a “Contact” page for your blog. This contains details on how people can get in touch with you through email and social media, and is a great opportunity to encourage collaborations with brands and agencies.
Write Content for Your Travel Blog
A blog is nothing without great content, so it’s wise to prepare blog posts in advance before you launch. If you have a calendar of content ready to schedule you’ll be less worried about having to write as you go, and you can spend more time on blog promotion instead.
As a new travel blogger you might be full of ideas and inspiration on what to write about for your first few blog posts. There’s a lot of opportunity to be creative and share your own experiences, travels, and expert insight into destinations.
If you get stuck for ideas or want some help to plan a content series, read our guide on 35+ travel blog ideas to inspire you.
Once you have your first few blog posts ready, it’s time to launch your travel blog.
You’ve hit publish on your first blog post — congratulations, you’re now a travel blogger!
This is a big moment, but it’s only the start of your travel blogging career. With your blog live it’s time to promote it and spread the word.
As a new blogger you might start from zero readers, so here are our tips on how and where to promote your travel blog:
- Tell friends and family that you have a new blog
- Interact with commenters, say thank you, and encourage them to share your content
- Network with other bloggers and ask for their thoughts and support
- Offer to guest post on a popular travel blog
- Be active on your blog’s social media channels and promote your posts
- Learn about search engine optimization (SEO), including permalinks, and optimize your content
- Run paid advertising campaigns on social media
- Look out for opportunities to work with brands or go on press trips
Over time, with hard work and skilled blogging, you’ll attract more readers and returning fans who love your content.
How to Grow Your Travel Blog
Now that you’ve launched your blog, you have your own space to share your experiences, talk about your travels, and share your travel photography with the world.
To achieve the ultimate travel blog success, dedicate some time each week to learn more about how to grow your blog, social media, monetization strategies, and more. Make sure you bookmark our blogging tutorials and come back regularly to level up your knowledge.
You could also sign up for a blogging course, like these courses offered by popular travel blogger Nomadic Matt.
If you want to grow your travel blog and turn it into a business, we can help. Join our VIP subscribers list to unlock blogging tips from experts, including how to grow and monetize your blog.